Our pride and joy
There is no doubt about it, every now and again we all take photographs that we are proud of. They may be from a great trip we had overseas, of some far-flung place, of exotic landscapes, interesting faces, or maybe simply a collection of family images that you feel capture memories.
It’s funny, but for a photographer, I have precious few images of my own framed-up and on my walls. The vast majority of my work is in my portfolios - of which I have six! These 'folios vary a bit in content; some are more landscape heavy, others more people based. Either way, they contain my own ‘pride and joy’ images. I like the idea of putting together a series of photographs that fit together around a common theme or subject; very often for me, it is a common colour or look to the images. At the moment, I’m a big fan of de-saturating my photographs. For instance, I’ve complied a series of images from Texas, mostly landscape, but some portraits as well, and to make these images work together as a series, I altered the colour content to give them a sense of uniformity. These images, now compiled in an up-market portfolio, are my calling card and something I am very proud to show people. And so it can be for anyone who wants to put together a series of photographs: the chance to make up your own ‘book’.
The Permajet Photobook comes in two forms; Prestige and Premium, the latter having a 4”x3” aperture cut into the front cover. They come in A4 and A3 landscape format size. I was sent an A4 Prestige Photobook to trial. It is in a different league to my own hand-made portfolios which cost around £300 each, excluding the expensive paper and inks used for the photographs themselves. However, considering its low price, the Permajet Photobook has a very nice ‘feel’ to it. The heavy-weight matt black cover boards give a slick and professional look and inside you have translucent end pages which again add to the sense of professional quality and presentation. I qualified originally as a graphic designer, so I know what I’m talking about when it comes to the importance and thought needed in compiling and presenting a body of work.
A translucent front page, with a hint of what lies beneath, is a very clever device to entice you to want to view more. So, put your best image or title page in here to lure your viewer in! This is your showcase, your treasured work so give it the best head-start.
The paper supplied with the Photobook I was sent has an ‘oyster’ finish to it. I personally love this finish; it seems enough to ‘lift’ an image slightly, to give a bit of life to your work, but it is not as in-your-face as a full high gloss finish which I find a bit over the top. However each to their own; it’s a purely personal like/dislike and it also depends a bit on the particular image that you are printing.
The oyster paper is 285gsm in weight - fairly heavy, which adds to the overall feeling of quality. The paper is double sided, so as you are supplied with 10 sheets in the Photobook, you can in theory produce 20 images for your portfolio. One word of caution here though. Depending on the weight or density of your particular images, you can get a bit of what I call ‘show through’. This is where you see on the following page a very slight ghosting of the image from the previous page. But it does really depend a lot on how ‘heavy’ your images are. I did try some back to back prints on this 285 gsm oyster paper and found that if I was printing say a fairly light-weight print after a considerably darker image, there was some show through that detracted from the image currently being viewed. Now, I can be a bit fussy, so others may not see this as an issue, but for me I found that I only wanted to print one image per individual page. Aside from this, I generally think a portfolio ‘reads’ better when an image has a bit of space; it gives the image prominence. In my professional portfolio I have no images printed back-to-back; I have a title page, small print, plenty of white space, followed by my photographs printed on the right hand page all the way through. It looks slick and classy. That would be my recommendation and it worked well when I printed a series of Texas images in this Permajet Photobook. You can see some examples here of the images I printed up for this Permajet book.
On the Permajet oyster paper the images reproduced were crisp and sharp. The paper is fairly high white and this adds to the clean, fresh look of the photographs. The paper is 100% dye and pigment compatible and has a high colour gamut allowing an extensive and accurate reproduction of your images. On the Photobook packaging, the paper is described as having an exceptionally low ‘metamerism’. I’ve never been good with my ism’s so I had to Google this. Wikipedia says "In colorimetry, metamerism is the matching of apparent colour of objects with different spectral power distributions. Colours that match this way are called metamers." Put simply, it means that the paper has the ability to match apparent colours very accurately. This is a good thing gives very pleasing results.
I printed using a high quality Epson Stylus Pro 4880 but you also need good quality original images to make the package complete. The oyster paper is instant-drying and is water and fade resistant too.
I have previously waxed lyrical about the Permajet papers that I have printed my images onto and I can do so here again with this oyster paper in the Photobook. Neatly wrapped up with its translucent end papers and protected with its heavy-weight cover boards, the Permajet Photobook allows you to create a good sized portfolio that speaks of quality and reflects excellent value for money. It only remains for you to deliver the ‘content’, your own prized images, to make the book complete.
Permajet Photobook Rating:
- Usability: 9/10
- Quality: 10/10
- Value: 10/10